Thing is Friesians wouldn't do well out here. We trail ride. Though they are strong, gentle, and oh so lovely if they aren't over bred and long faced, one wouldn't and shouldn't be expected to travel 8 to 10 hours climbing our steep mountains. An Andalusian could.
I agree its lbs not miles, they were riding horses. And the good ones still are. But one of those good ones would set me back $20,000 or more and would be the only one I would have. I personally think they are being overbred, lacking the traditional elegance and finesse in an effort to saturate the breed.
I was concerned about that very thing......their abiltiy to hold up to my distance riding too, (and still wouldn't want to test it on a full blood Frisian) but a woman did a Mojave endurance ride (over 100 miles....3 day race I think) on a Frisian cross so that was good enough for me. My filly is a younger half sister of the gelding that did the Mojave race. She'll take after her sire and 1/2 brother by being over 17 hd and not having the classical baroque look. My mare (also a cross breed) has more of the baroque look that her sire has. The mare is the easiest horse I've ever worked with in the past 40 years of riding. The only real problem I had was when I separated her so I could work with another horse. She'd never had any exposure to jumping and I had no notion that she would. She thought otherwise and jumped the dividing fence after about 30 min so she could join us on the other side. It was lovely to watch, but something I didn't want her doing. A higher fence has apparently worked at preventing a repeat. Found out afterwards that people do compete in Jumping and Cross country with these Frisian Sporthorses. A lesson learned for me to not think that the Frisian in them will keep the Saddlebred in them from jumping.
The feathering is lovely, but requires some extra checking to prevent scratches. The tail dragging the ground looks nice, but I end up cutting it just short of the ground because they've stepped on it and pull out hair (the tail and feathering also collect every burr within 100 yards, even if we don't get near it
). The long mane and forelock at least is never a problem. So Frisians come with a price beyond the money.
Of course watching them trotting and running across the pasture after I've finished grooming them with their long mane and tail flowing behind them and my mare's feathering looking full does make me forget about the extra work they sometimes require after a ride (or being taken for a walk in the case of my filly).
But all the looks aside (it's always subjective anyway), it's their calm nature that does it for me. In my youth I enjoyed a hot horse at times. Today I'd rather have calm and dependable.